Wittgenstein - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wittgenstein Reviews

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½ October 31, 2015
True to the rest of Jarman's work, Wittgenstein opts for an ultra-minimal, soundstage-based production and is filled with his signature period idiosyncrasies. There are times when it feels as if he's emulating the style of a children's program, which is appropriate given the fact that this is much more ridiculous, lighthearted, and funnier than his usually austere looks into the lives of gay historical figures and social outcasts. Thankfully, this also gives him an opportunity to play dress-up with Tilda Swinton, these visual and narrative points of lightness supplementing the philosophical musings of its subject. The fact that he chose to document Wittgenstein's life specifically is admirable as his work is known to be generally impenetrable, but he approaches his ideas through some clever physical representations of the abstract concepts that work pretty well, and though it all amounts to minor Jarman, it's still absolutely enjoyable for fans of his work.
June 12, 2015
Another post-modern thing by Derek Jarman. This one got a plot line at least.
February 26, 2015
good biopic. a bit strange. it does a decent job at introducing his unique life and even attempts, fairly well I'd say, to introduce his ideas.
it does deviate from his life at times but it still works.
also, it could easily be adopted for the stage and may have been written as a theater piece.
½ June 17, 2013
A bit of reading about the man is probably helpful before viewing. Wittgenstein seems to me like a film perhaps it's rather pretentious, perhaps it's a little harsh, also lighthearted and quite entertaining. The film demonstrates a talent for creating an outrageous atmosphere in a restrained setting. Read Wittgenstein, read about Wittgenstein.
October 6, 2012
Heartfelt and occasionally whimsical performances by all cast members in dealing with a subject that combines the abstract and the personal. The philosophical aspects of Wittgenstein's views on language are closely tied to the difficulties associated with his personality and thus engage the audience in a human story. The minimalism inherent in the screenplay makes this subject more suitable for the stage than the studio. However, it is worth the sacrifice since its accessibility of a stage production to the general audience would be rare.
June 26, 2012
With an impressive script by the talented Terry Eagleton, Derek Jarman's experimental biographical film about the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is a truly fascinating film. Having never read the works of Wittgenstein, I can't say how accurate it is regarding his philosophy. However, the concepts and questions raised cannot be ignored and are intriguing enough to continue watching this through it's entirety. This isn't a long film, but it's certainly a great film which certainly makes us think during and after the film. Using a minimalist set, we are able to get pure Wittgenstein through the spectacular performances of Karl Johnson and Clancy Chassay as Old and Young Wittgenstein as well as Michael Gough's performance as Bertrand Russell. Everyone else, though, is fantastic and worth noting and they make a great job at transferring both his life story and his philosophy in little over an hour. This is one of Jarman's greatest works and should not go unnoticed.
½ June 12, 2012
An amazing biopic reminiscent of Dali's cinematography. A short film, I am still thinking about what it means.
½ April 16, 2012
Terry Eagleton's script provides ample pleasures despite the fact that we get a cliched glimpse of Wittgenstein's though through the inclusion of some of his maxims. Not the best Jarman film - it wasn't meant to be anyway - but one which proves that his aesthetic vision is still capable of conjuring unique imagery.
April 27, 2011
Only a film as bizarre as this could paint an accurate picture of the mind of Wittgenstein. Its only downfall, in my opinion, is that the structure of the film would have been better as a play than an actual movie. Otherwise, its entertaining and funny as hell, and its actually a decent introduction to Wittgenstein's ideas.
Super Reviewer
½ April 3, 2011
Eccentric and enjoyable and mildly informative to those who are not familiar with Wittgenstein.
½ January 19, 2011
Excellent, though I can't vouch for its biographical veracity. The philosophy sounds like him, at least.
½ May 23, 2010
Wittgenstein was arguably the most brilliant philosopher of the 20th century, and inarguably one of the most influential. This isn't so much a start-conflict-resolution structure film as it is a sincere portrait of a conflicted genius who is every bit as critical of himself as he is those around him. Derek Jarman does what he does best here: the set design, costumes, and makeup are fakely realistic and realistically fake, with colors clashing with one another in just the right way (perhaps the product of his failing eyesight as a result of his battle with AIDS). Karl Johnson is brilliant in the title role, and while one might criticize the film for devoting too much time to Wittgenstein's probable homosexuality, one cannot blame Jarman for portraying Wittgenstein as *he* knew and loved him.
May 1, 2010
Wittgenstein placed me in the awkward position of agreeing with Bertrand Russell, but I'm willing to overlook that.
½ February 14, 2010
Está buena y surreal. Lo malo es que intentaron resumir los puntos más importantes de la filosofía y vida de Wittgenstein en 70 min. y eso corta mucho la película. Sigo teniendo la impresión de que Wittgenstein fue el filósofo más importante del siglo XX.
½ December 9, 2009
An attempt at creating a Wittgensteinian movie about Wittgenstein. Bareboned, like a filmed minimalist stage production. Intention is good, but I don't think Jarman quite got it right.
½ November 25, 2009
Good movie... a bit odd though
½ November 1, 2009
insightful to say the least. reflecting jarman's bizarre but thought-provoking filmic style and some his usual preoccupations. Wittgenstein's life and work visually diagramed by a peculiar narrative and a cast of brilliant actors
½ April 26, 2009
how can I rate it if I can hardly understand what Jarman wants to say? But anyway,this one is much ¨easier¨than Blue for me....
½ March 25, 2009
"If you think I'm an old spinster ?? think again!"
?? Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1945
Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2009
Oh joy to the youngsters,the gracious question marks,what is logic?The end of reluctance,a desperate tangling,perjury,yes.
Apostrophe and immortality.Communication is the key but while we're eagerly waiting for the key,philosophy can bulk our sodding curiosity.
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